I still remember the first time I had the honor of meeting Brant Groen. I had decided to visit Jonathan at college in Willmar, MN (Ridgewater). I made the 2 hours drive swiftly, and arrived to find out Jonathan was still at school working in the Ag Shop on a tractor. I stopped into visit him and Jon gave me my first tour of the Ridgewater Dairy/Ag Department. I met all of his instructors and then I finally met the "famous" Brant! Oh how many late night phone calls with Jon, would I hear about how Brant taught them a new skill or concept at class~he made learning interesting and exciting. Brant was Jonathan's Dairy Management Instructor and well, a mentor. Brant greeted me with a smile and a joke to Jon about how I was too good for him. I laughed. He asked me how long I was staying. I was going to stay through the next day, and he invited me to class the next day. Needless to say it was not my last class with Brant....he always invited me to join when I visited (only a handful of times) and everytime that I went to class with Jon, I would learn something new. I admired Brant's teaching style. He was a hands on teacher and I know that we can credit him for teaching Jon (and me too) everything that he knows.
Brant did an excellent job of using real life farms and professionals to teach important skills needed to be a good dairy farmer. A dairy farmer that is knowledgable and caring. His retirement made Jonathan and I so sad. Brant has influenced so many MN dairy farmers, his leadership will be incredibly hard to replace....and we will miss him dearly :(
Best wishes Brant as you start your next venture in life, and know that you have helped to develop some of the best dairy farmers in the state of Minnesota!